When a teenage son or daughter gets a driver’s license, the parents are supposed to add that new driver to the list of drivers in the household. At the same time, that mother and father get saddled with a new legal responsibility.
The parents or legal guardian have vicarious liability for any damage done by the son or daughter.
Those adults with that vicarious liability could get held responsible for any injuries, vehicle damage or other losses that might result from an accident in which the teenage child has been involved. Anyone that sits behind the steering wheel in a motored vehicle has a duty of care towards other drivers. To what extent does that duty get handed to the parents?
The legal system provides the mother and father with a chance to develop a system for establishing the time and place when the son or daughter has a right to obtain and use the keys to the family’s vehicle.
Establishment of the time and place for sharing the keys is part of learning to be a parent. The legal system recognizes the fact that no adult can learn overnight how to be a parent at each specific stage of a child’s life. Some parents trust their children to seek permission for the keys before using them. The legal system allows them to test the extent of the wisdom behind that trusting attitude.
If a teen decides to go on a joyride, and takes the keys without asking, then on that first occasion, the parents/guardian enjoy a monetary limit on any effort at a recovery of damages. Yet that limit does not carry over to any times when the teenager elects to repeat that undesirable activity.
Moreover, there is a legal stipulation on the extent of relief that a parental couple could enjoy, if their teen chose to take an initial joyride. That couple would not get a monetary limit on the funds for the recovery, if they had failed to list their teenage driver on their auto insurance policy, as per Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Erie.
Another way that the law monitors parental behavior
The legal system wants teenagers to understand the difference between right and wrong. Teens should realize that it is wrong to take the family car and use it to commit a criminal offense. Insurance companies, too recognize the temptation placed before some young people, once they have obtained their license.
Hence, insurance companies refuse to grant any type of coverage to a policyholder that has allowed a teen to use the family’s vehicle, in order to commit some type of criminal activity. That rule stays in force, even if the policyholders have listed their teen among the other drivers in the household.